Daily Staff Report
WINCHESTER -- The National Cherry Blossom Festival organization has commissioned Water Street Design, a marketing and design agency in Winchester, to conceptualize and build 25 interpretive panels in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Japan's gifting of cherry trees to the United States as a symbol of friendship between the two countries, according to a recent press release from Water Street Design.
The panels on display along the capital's Tidal Basin through Friday provide visitors with a self-guided tour depicting the history, care, maintenance and science of the trees, in addition to the roles the first ladies played in past festivals.
For the past year, Water Street Design has worked closely with exhibit planner Robert Grogg and representatives from the National Park Service to develop the content for the panels.
"We've done several projects for local clients -- the Handley Library, The Corcoran Gallery of Art National Treasures Exhibit and the stadium graphics for the John Handley High School campus -- but having our work installed in a national park validates our environmental graphics program and allows us to market our services for this specialty outside the region," the press release quoted the firm's owner, Georgiana Dearing, saying.
The panels gave visitors insight into the history behind the festival, according to Ann McClellan, author of "Cherry Blossoms: The Official Book of the National Cherry Blossom Festival."
"It was wonderful to see so many visitors stop to read the stories," she said in the release.
The festival will include concerts, art exhibits, street festivals, educational programs, a kite flying competition and Japanese fireworks.
For more information about Water Street Design, visit www.waterstreetegd.com. To find out more about the interpretive panels and the National Cherry Blossom Festival, visit: www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/visitor-information/interpretive-signs/.